Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Friday morning he was hopeful Houston could agree to a contract extension with at least one of its three arbitration-eligible players before numbers were filed.
Luhnow's hope was based in reality.
The Astros agreed to a one-year contract with shortstop Jed Lowrie worth $2.4 million. The deal contains award bonuses and allows Lowrie to avoid salary arbitration. He was in his second year of eligibility and expected to make about $1.9 million in arbitration.
Astros starter Bud Norris and reliever Wesley Wright are still eligible for arbitration. Numbers must be exchanged by noon CST Friday.
Lowrie, 28, hit .244 with 16 home runs and and 42 RBI last season in 97 games with the Astros. He pairs with second baseman Jose Altuve to give Houston strength up the middle and is viewed by the organization as its most promising everyday player in 2013.
Lowrie has often been involved in trade discussions since the 2012 season ended. But his youth, experience and affordability are perfect matches for an Astros club hoping to exceed low expectations as it enters the American League.
Astros sign SS Jed Lowrie to one-year contract
Houston Chronicle | Jan 18